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Sara Barthol - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Sara Barthol Sara Barthol

Adjunct Lecturer | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Sara Barthol is an expert in issues such as sex therapy, addiction, anxiety, relationship challenges.


SARA BARTHOL joined the social work adjunct faculty in 2017, teaching courses in human sexuality. She is a licensed clinical social worker and holds a Pupil Personnel Services credential.

For the past 20 years, she has worked in a variety of settings, from public and private agencies throughout Los Angeles to her own private practice in Santa Monica. Her past work experiences include positions at Planned Parenthood, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Department of Mental Health, Camp Max Straus, HBO, the Sexual Recovery Institute, Ocean Park Community Center, USC, the University of California, Los Angeles, California State University, Northridge, and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing after 9/11 in New York City.

Over the years, Barthol has worked with children, adolescents and adults of all ages in one-on-one settings as well as couple and group sessions. She has also worked with teen mothers, people living with HIV/AIDS in the early stages of treatment and diagnosis, individuals and families struggling with sexual and drug/alcohol addictions and/or chronic mental illness, people seeking birth control consultation and support, students in special education struggling with behavioral and academic challenges, and children living in group and foster homes.

She currently focuses on individuals and couples therapy in her practice, with issues ranging from sex therapy to addiction and anxiety to relationship challenges. She also works both as a field instructor and a supervisor for those pursuing licensure, and has been working with employee assistance programs providing short-term counseling for individuals and couples through their employers.

Barthol’s most recent venture is the creation of a new therapy setting and format called Pie Therapy, a creative method of working through anxiety and other life stressors through the art of baking pies.

Education (2)

San Diego State University: M.S.W. 1995

University of California, Santa Cruz: B.A. 1992

Areas of Expertise (4)

Relationship Challenges Addiction Sex Therapy Anxiety

Industry Expertise (5)

Mental Health Care Health Care - Providers Education/Learning Health and Wellness Health Care - Services


Media Appearances (2)

Does Baking Help Mental Health? The Answer Is More Complicated Than You Think

Bustle  online


"One interesting attempt to mediate this gap has been proposed by Sara Barthol at Psychology Today: pie therapy, a form of group therapy where discussing mental health issues is combined with baking pies over a four-hour period. " (...)

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This surprising activity could help you relieve stress

Business Insider  online


"In a blog post on Psychology Today, Robert Weiss, a relationship expert and the Senior Vice President of National Clinical Development for Elements Behavioral Health, interviewed Sara Barthol who actually started a class called pie therapy." (...)

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